Previously on the Secret Santa series, we reviewed Sakai's ridiculous Gunpla creation (no, I am not referring to the Tryon 3, though that creation is quite ridiculous on its own)! Since that review, the gifter revealed him(or her)self as u/ArshenMasur.
Another part of Arshen's gift is a kit I have been eyeing for awhile, but was never pushed over the fence to purchase. That is the HGUC Delta Plus. I knew I would eventually want a Delta Plus to pair up with my Unicorn Mode Unicorn Gundam, so I am very grateful that Aeshen chose this kit from the list. Thank you once again!
Delta Plus is a mass produced version of Delta Gundam, a mobile suit that the famous Hyaku Shiki is based on. Apparently the Delta Gundam is what the Hyaku Shiki would be if it could transform. In context to the OVA, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the Delta Plus is piloted by Ensign Riddhe fighting along side the protagonist in multiple occasions.
It seems like the Manga/Novels go a little deeper into the history of the Delta Gundam, Delta Plus, and Delta Kai, however, I have not read any of the material.
From what I can tell, suits that were designed in Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, at least compared to other HGUC kits, have a higher level of complexity and detail. Obviously there is a bias based on the kits I have built, but looking at the current trend of REVIVE kits using a much smaller number of polycaps and boasting less surface details, I cannot help but to think these Unicorn kits are overly complex.
The Delta Plus definitely does not have the complexity of the Destroy Mode Unicorn (and its variants), but it definitely has quite the level of complexity seen in other Unicorn-based kits.
Though the suit boasts such complexity, most of that detail gets washed out by such a monochrome color scheme: The gray clashes with the inner frame gray, but the gray also has too much of a blue/purple hue which clashes with the navy blue parts. The result is a suit that looks like a blob of gray.
To break up all the grays, the head's visor is a clear piece backed by a silver sticker. Without clear red paint, this lovely detail is lost to a flat maroon-ish (or navy blue) sticker that covers everything up. I highly suggest getting some clear paint and avoid covering such great detail (for a closer look, refer to the title image)!
Fortunately, like the Unicorn Mode Unicorn, the complexity of the Delta Plus does not come with sacrifice in the structural integrity. The only issue I have with the structure is the back wings which on occasion come loose when posing the suit.
For play options, the Delta Plus does not have many. Standard of most mobile suits, a beam rifle and a shield are included. The other option not shown is a beam saber with a light blue beam effect. As with a lot of these shields on transforming suits, this shield is used as the nose of the Delta Plus in wave rider mode.
Nothing is inherently wrong with these two items. I just wish Bandai figured out a way to do a little color separation with this particular beam rifle. The pipe on the top is supposed to be white. Since there are white details throughout the kit, why not add a few pieces to get some white on the rifle? Even then, the play options look beautiful.
Overall the mobile suit form of the Delta Plus looks okay. It could do with a better shade of gray, but the complexity of the suit and the hard lines definitely makes up for that. My favorite part of the mobile suit has got to be those long-toed feet. Just look at them!
As someone who grew up building classic scale model planes of various eras, Delta Plus' Wave Rider mode definitely hits me in the nostalgia (something Macross has failed to do with their jet-mechs). I just wish the OVA had more shots that imitated Top Gun's dog fights. but I digress.
The parts-formation is slightly more complex than the few transformations I have seen. The feet and shoulders require alternative pieces to fit on the large parts-formation block whereas the other kits I have experienced only require parts from the mobile suit mode to be added, with no replacement parts, on to the parts-formation block
The result is a beautiful Wave Rider that looks like something Maverick would pilot. If I did not have any plans for this suit to be posed with the Unicorn Mode Unicorn Gundam, I would have this permanently in Wave Rider mode.
Whether you are looking for a gray-is-the-new-gold Delta Gundam, or a Wave Rider ready to take you to the danger zone, this Federation machine of the Laplace Conflict will definitely look good on anyone's shelf. Sure there are a few details that might require some attention, but they are minute compared to the good aspects of this kit.